The Diagnostic Quality of the Emotional and Behavioral Screener

Matthew C. Lambert, Michael H. Epstein, Douglas Cullinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Students who exhibit substantial behavior and emotional problems in school often have shown less severe problems earlier. Screening for such problems can suggest which students need extra support and help educators to direct support to students who are more likely to benefit. The present study explored predictive validity of a very brief behavior problem screening procedure as applied to 2,253 students ages 5 to 17 years. About half were special education students identified with emotional disturbance; the rest were students with no identified disabilities. Teachers rated them on the 10 items of the Emotional and Behavioral Screener. Any student whose sum of ratings exceeded a norm-based cutoff score was designated as at-risk; otherwise the student was not at-risk. Binary classification analyses of four age-level by gender subgroups of students showed that the instrument validly identifies at-risk students. Study method limitations and directions for research to clarify some remaining questions about this screening procedure are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • at-risk students
  • behavioral screener
  • diagnostic quality
  • emotional disturbance
  • receiver operating characteristic curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology


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